When we decided to go to Egypt, I had no idea how we would ‘cover’ Egypt as such a big and vast country; as a person who I think I understand geography and love traveling, I should be embarrassed, because apart from Cairo and vaguely Alexandria, I don’t have a clue about the names of other cities in Egypt. So when my husband asked me “Do you want to take the Nile Cruise?”
” Yeah OK” I said, and carried on doing other things, without thinking. I didn’t know then that for some people this is the ultimate travel destination and why!!!….
Basically I don’t like cruising holidays; I prefer to have active holidays; the idea of a cruise trip was not appealing to me. Imagine the view you get when the ship sails? I bet it’s only water and then more water is all you see as you go off shore to the open sea; Yes, we could do a lot of things inside a proper cruise ship, such as swimming, watching movies or shopping; but really, you can do the same things inside a shopping mall on dry land so why do we need to go on a ship to do so???
However, as soon as I said yes to the Nile cruise, my husband booked the holiday and suddenly we couldn’t change to another option of traveling through Egypt. I guess this cruise would not be too bad, as it is not a cruise on the open sea; there are river banks that should give different views along the river. Later on I learned that Nile cruises are treated as the ultimate holiday destination, and this is also one of the ways to see Egypt aside from diving on the Red Sea or Sharm al Sheikh holidays. This is the cruise that you can see and learn more about Egypt’s interior, instead of the old and tired city of Cairo and Giza Pyramids.
The route was from Luxor to Aswan, and I didn’t have a clue where it was on the map until I got back to Doha and looked at a map. They said we were going to Upper Egypt, yes Luxor is located in the south of Egypt but they always said that it’s in the Upper Egypt; I guess because we are going up stream of the the river. The map on the left explains where the trip was in Egypt.
We ended up staying on board Steam Ship Sudan for 4 nights and 5 days, but we only sailed for 3 days. We visited the West Bank of Luxor earlier on the start day a visit to Colossi of Memnon, where there are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III standing under the rays of the morning sun, and then we continued with the Valley of the Kings, which contains 62 tombs. In 1922, Howard Carter found the last and the most well-known of these tombs, belonging to the young pharaoh Tutankhamun.
Yes, we had to fly to Luxor from Cairo and stayed overnight in Luxor, but once we were on board Steam Ship Sudan and started sailing…. it was magical. I can’t compare it with any other of my travel experiences. We were off shore, only a few hundred meters from each sides of the river bank and maybe a little bit than a kilometer away from downtown on the nearest city, yet, everything was already different. The speed, the noise, the smell, the breeze, the scenery… everything. I felt like I was already in another world, another planet. There was no warning or no noise of the steam ship nor was there any jerk that the ship had sailed. The only difference was as we moved the panorama changes, and that’s the only indication that we were now sailing up stream of the River Nile.
The ship provide us with a wi-fi facility, where we could connect with the rest of the world, but in late January, when Europe is cold, and between Luxor and Aswan the temperature was so pleasant (between 12°C to maximum 25°C), who wanted to know about winter, when we had such a nice option, away from the current affairs and world news, and I think it was a blessing in disguise that the internet facilities were not working very well, so I could detox myself from modern civilization.
So aside from the occasional stops at Esna, Kom Ombo and later on our final destination in Aswan, where I learned about Ancient Egypt history, on board the steam ship I was able to see the real Egypt, where people still sail on their traditional Felucca, which has hardly changed over hundreds and thousands of years.
Earlier I was against cruising holidays, but this Nile Cruise changed my view on cruising holidays. In-fact, this holiday gave me such a different perspective on boat trips, and most of all Egypt was not that bad after all. Next: Steam Ship Sudan and the Death on the Nile